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How to Activate Free-To-Air Channels on a DStv Dish Installation

Little girl watching free TV

Do you know you can gain access to more channels on DStv than the ones you normally get without having to pay more? There are lots of hidden free to air channels on every is20 satellite dish installation. Here’s how you can get yours.

Recently on Facebook, I stumbled on an article that opened my eyes to hidden uses of DStv I never knew existed.

That’s how I met Mredjo IDyan. He’s an installations expert from Cape Town who loves helping subscribers with dish and installation issues. He shares a lot of his work on his Facebook group and has contributed a lot to help me make this article for you.

If you are a sports fan, don’t forget to read the article on free to air sports channels.

So let’s get into it. But what do you need for the activation? You’ll need a working remote control, a dstv dish using is20 satellite settings, and a DStv decoder, preferably HD. Decoders such as Explora 4us and 4s.5u.6s.

If you are not using the IS20 satellite, see the setup guide for Eutelsat 36B satellite users.

I’m assuming you have these already so let’s get going.

Related Post: Updated DStv Compact Channels List for 2022/2023.

Here is how to discover and activate lots of FTA channels on your current installation. If you are using an HD decoder, see the FTA channel setup for DStv HD Decoder.


On your Remote Control just go to Menu by pressing the Blue button.


Then select Settings and go to Satellite Settings.

Use the settings drop down to find additional networks.


READ:  Additional Networks removed from DStv? Apply these 3 Helpful Solutions

On satellite settings, there is Home Network and Additional Network. Now select Additional network.


On Additional Network, you will find Networks numbered from 1 to 5.

Here’s where you’ll need to pay proper attention. Do not change any frequencies on Network #1. Simply put “YES” where there is “NO.” These are the operating frequencies for your decoder so do not alter them. We’ll start making changes from Network 2 to Network 5.

Network configuration for FTA channels on DStv
Configure your networks. Apply changes to networks 2 to 5. Do not touch Network 1.


  • Making changes on NETWORK 2 for Commec IS20, KLN, Limpopo TV, 1kzn TV & Others. On Network 2, apply the following changes.
FREQUENCY11514 or 11170
POLARISATIONVertical OR Horizontal

Then apply Scan this (Scan all✖).

  • Making Changes to NETWORK 3 for Ifilm, Loveworld, Press News, Talent Sport, Hossana tv and many more:

Apply Scan this✔ (Scan all✖)

  • Make the following changes to NETWORK 4 for Limpopo TV, Christ TV, Angel TV, Mercy TV, prophet Shepard Bushiri, Eagle TV, and more.
SYMBOL27500 Or 30000

Apply Scan this✔ (Scan all✖).

  • Apply these to NETWORK 5 for Khudunga, Access TV, BTV Test channel, France 24, NOW, BTV Digital, and BTV mobile
FREQUENCY12633 or 12657 for sound
SYMBOL RATE16166 or 4883 for sound

Then Scan this✔ (Scan all✖)

New free channels have been added to Network 2/5. Apply the following setting to get them.

Enable NetworkYes
Use NITYes
Symbol Rate1600
READ:  DStv Premium Channels List 2021

Once you are done, be sure to change from “My DStv Channels” to “All Channels” then press 100 and scroll left you will see all the channels that are coming before channel 100. The added channels will have four digits as shown in the image below.

Free to air channels listed on Dstv
Free-To-Air channels listed on DStv with four-digit reference numbers. Image Credits: Mredjo IDyan.

If it won’t scan automatically and it’s showing you that your parameters are incorrect, it means one of two things: either your signal strength is low or your LNB is not properly positioned.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to find an accredited dish installer at your location to assist you. Also, please understand that the frequencies above are the same for is20 free to air frequencies 2022/2023.

Related Article: How to Watch Elif for Free.

List of Free Channels on DStv

Irrespective of the package you are using on DStv, every subscriber is entitled to about 13 free channels on the default setup. A selection of the channels includes:

S/NFree ChannelsCode
1.)SABC 1191
2.)SABC 2192
3.)SABC 3193
5.)Soweto TV251
6.)Bay TV260
7.)1 KZN261
8.)Tshwane TV262
9.)Cape Town TV263
11.)Lesotho TV292
12.)NTA i299
13.)TV Mozambique Internacional701

If you need help, drop a comment below. But if you are in Cape Town, you can always hook up with Mredjo IDyan on Facebook and he’ll help you sort things out.

176 thoughts on “How to Activate Free-To-Air Channels on a DStv Dish Installation”

    1. Greetings! What if additional network is not coming on satellite settings, what options do I have to proceed to add free to air channels?.

  1. Please are these settings same? Because after following the steps, couldn’t get it scanned, it says parameters are probably not correct and when I try the scan all it says signal strength or quality is poor…
    NB: The #100 was working perfectly before I did the settings…
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi, Obasa. You only have to give it a try. Make changes to available free networks but don’t tamper with the primary Network settings. But what’s your location? You seem to be posting from a different region.

        1. Hahaha. Koko. If you make changes to Network 1, it will alter everything. Don’t touch Network 1. Use Network 2 to 5. Leave Network 1 alone. That way, it will not alter other channels when you subscribe.

  2. I am able to watch the channels but on some channels, I’m not able to hear the sound. What can I do to activate the sound?

    1. Hi, Benjamin! Some DStv decoders are not designed to decode AAC audio formats. It could also be a signal issue. Contact your installer for help as we cannot perform checks on that from here.

  3. Hello Robert, I have a DSTV Decorder Model 8s. I want to ask that does it support the settings you posted on this page? Since you said these settings only apply best to MPEG-4 HD Decorder.

  4. Hi

    Pls help,

    Will I be able to get FTA channels on a smart TV with built in scanner? As I currently get DTT channels by just connecting my aerial? Can I connect my satellite cable directly to TV to get fta

  5. Hi am using Explora model3a my prophetic channel for Shepard bushiri does not show pictures or audio its just blank but got all others.

  6. I tried my and it didn’t work… Also, I proceeded in checking out this free station listed above, I found out that it’s only 499 that’s available for me.
    Or does this have to do with me?
    I have three DSTV in various houses I do pay for on monthly basis.

        1. Hi, Dannie. Yes, you can. But know that you can only get FTA channels from your country. So the first thing is to decide on the channels you would like to get and then find out if they are available as FTA channels. If they are, then you can proceed to get the parameters and set up your decoder to receive them.

          In situations where your dish is not positioned for the right satellite. You will need an installer to reposition it for you so you can receive channels from your country.

  7. Good day
    Kindly assist, I would like to connect to Yadah Tv. Unfortunately, I have been trying the latest settings (12562,30000, H) to no avail. I am using the DSD 3U decoder on IS20.
    Thank you

  8. Hi Ekemini, thanks for the response. I went to the local supplier to get a 6S decoder and they tell me the 6S has been replaced by the 8S decoder. Will this new model still be able to be reset to obtain the FTA channels? The DSTV installer says the new decoders have been changed to prevent and block getting the FTA channels. Is this true, and should I search somewhere else for someone who can still supply me with a 6S ?

    1. I suggest you search for a 6S decoder. We are yet to have something on 8S decoders. When we do we will post it on this website and our Facebook page. Go for 6S if your major need is FTA channels.

  9. Hi Sir Ekemini. I’ve just bought explore to upgrade. My problem I don’t know the settings for twin lnb. Five years ago multichoice send professional installer who really did job but after a week or so my signal was gone. I call another one which he was worse than that one. I bought signal finder even today I haven’t had problem about signal. Can you please help me how to set up single lnb to twin lnb is being two months I bought explore. Please Sir I’m based in South of Johannesburg

  10. Hi Ekemini, I have recently moved to Hermanus where there is no DTTV service and I have a smart Tv, so I wish to get myself DSTV Easy View and as many FTA programmes as possible. Will I be able to do this with a DSTV HD Single View Decoder 4138-6S?

  11. Hi, I’m using dstv explora model A3, on prophetic channel there is no audio and no pictures, is just shows blank, what is the problem?

  12. Hi Ekemini. I am trying to do an SMATV scan, but understand that the H channels have all been moved to V frequencies.

    How do I find a list of these shifted frequencies, and then do the scan?

    System is Multichoice in South Africa

    Thank you

    1. Hi, Tony! Which channel are you looking for? It can be hard to know all the channels that have changed polarization. The best thing to do would be to check for them individually. However, you may not need to do that for channels using the same frequency because all you would need to do would be to change the polarization from Horizontal to Vertical.

  13. Hi, am using IS20 on satellite, and my decoder HD model is 65
    I’ve enter the frequencies and it counts but the channels are not appearing at all

    1. Hi, @Simon! What kind of satellite are you hooked up to? Is it IS20? Confirm that in your settings menu and let me know.

      But simply following the instructions in the article above can give you the channels. But if you are not using IS20, let me know so I can send you new installation settings.

  14. Greetings Ekemini Robert the channels were working just fine but now we can’t excess Ebira, Eagles tv and I think there’s more we can’t excess now, when trying to scan it gets quite on network 3,4,5, it doesn’t scan,, what can I do?

    1. Hi, Thobeka Dube. What kind of decoder are you using? Has there been a software update? You can try undoing the settings; restart your decoder; then try to set them again from scratch.

      Also, has there been a storm recently? Have you checked your signal strength, how good is it? Check your signal strength and be sure everything is fine.

      1. Thank you Ekemini, I’m using dstv compact, there has been problems with the network but don’t really know about the network, the signal was affected. I will try again because till today I can’t access most channels. Thank you so much 🙂

  15. Greetings sir, can the DStv dsd1110 (+2) work bcoz I have tried to get the FTA channels it’s not working out. Where I am missing?

    1. Hi, David. Check your signal strength. Check your LNB too and ensure that it is properly position. Over time, most dish installations get adjusted by weather and other environmental conditions.

  16. All the channels are working fine for me but one problem is the sounds for the radio stations can u help me out please!

    1. Hi, Tinashe! That’s great. To get sound on Eagle TV, Change the settings on Network 4 to the ones below:

      Frequency: 12682
      Symbol Rate: 30000
      FEC: 2/3

      Note: These are for Network 4 only.


  17. Hi, Kas-triezy! I’m glad you now have more free channels to enjoy.
    For theuted channels, it would easier for me to assist you if you could mention a few of the muted TV channels. But I’m guessing they are either from Network 5 or 2, or both.

    For example, there are two Frequencies and Symbol Rates for Network 5. Try to switch between the two, rescan and check if you have sound.

  18. Amazing blessing.. Thank you soo much it worked but some channels not giving sound… Anything I can change to get sound???

  19. Hi, Chidi! If you have followed the steps, you’ll find that at a certain point you changed from “My DStv channels” to “All channels.” Simply go there and change it back to “My DStv channels.” You’ll also need to revert the — YES/NO — changes you made at Step 5 above.

    Concerning Dunamis TV, you only have to check first with the settings above. But you may not have it in HD.

    Most of the settings work well for the intelsat 20 satellite at 68.5 degrees East. Based on that, if the above configurations work but you can’t find Dunamis TV, I suggest you try the following changes on one of the networks:

    Frequency: 12682;
    Polarisation: Vertical;
    Symbol rate: 30000;
    FEC: 2/3
    Mod: DVB-S

      1. Hi, O’Brian. At that point you are done already. Proceed to the last instructions and apply the the changes you’ve made. The settings you are talking about are optional changes you can make to Network 2 and 5.

        1. I completed the steps and and I see all the channel but I cant watch them.i get this error code on every free channel I clicked “this decoder does not belong in this network”.is there anything to clear this error E106-9?

          1. Hi, what kind of decoder are you using? These settings work best on MPEG-4 ready decoders. Old DStv decoders were using MPEG-2. Please come over to the Forum let’s talk. We don’t want to create excessively long threads here.

      1. Hi, Prince, this happens when you’re either in the wrong location or your installation is not up to the required standard. Also, if you’re using newer version of HD decoders it may also give you problems. What error message are you getting?

  20. Good day Sir, please I would like to know if one activates the free to air channels on dstv, how do you revert to the paid channels i. e the ones that are not free. Also does this free to air channels have Dunamis tv on its list. Thanks

      1. Hi I’m trying to install the free channels on my DStv HD recorder but it’s not going through properly,I don’t know at what signal strength percentage it should be coz mine signal strength is at 64% and signal quality is at 75% can you help me further from here.

          1. I tried the steps as they are but I only got Daystar, Christ TV, amazing discovery and AMI TV. I’m trying to get Eagles tv, Ebira Unity, Press tv and Prophetic Channel

            1. Hello, good afternoon. My question is: if u buy a new dish, how are you going to select the channel, please?

              1. Times TV frequency is 11888; Polarization: Vertical; Modulation: DVB-S; Symbol rate: 30000;
                FEC: 5/6.

                Times TV frequency is 11888; Polarization: Vertical; Modulation: DVB-S; Symbol rate: 30000;
                FEC: 5/6. Same as Times TV.

              1. Hey there
                I have dstv pvr 2p. My signal strength is 95% however no fta channels show up on scanning.

                  1. Paulo Baptista Fundisse

                    Greetings sir, how can i set my DSTV HD to free channels….because the first network has been disturbed by someone who tried this setting before i come home help me please thank you

                    1. Hi, Paulo! Just follow the steps and fill the remaining networks with their respective parameters. Once you’re done, use the “Scan All” command to scan for free channels. Change the device from DStv Channels to All channels.

                  2. Hello dear, where do I apply the last changes where the perimeter symbol rate is 1600..which network is that?

                      1. Hi I’m getting this message, “This decoder in not in this network” but faith TV is screening well.

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